Jeff Davis' Letters of Mark
Illustrated Civil War envelopes with patriotic symbols, slogans and cartoons, mostly Northern, including a few Southern ones.
Jefferson Davis is looking at his own menacing shadow. The word Pirate" appears in the shadow. The "Letters of Mark" is most likely a misspelling of the "Letters of Marque and Reprisal". "Letters of Marque and Reprisal" were given by countries who could not afford large navies to private citizens. These individuals would use their privately-owned ships to conduct raids on the enemy country's ports and ships. They would keep anything they managed to take in the raid. "Letters of Marque and Reprisal" allows a poor country to create an instant, if not standard, navy. A privateer navy is essentially the naval equivalent of guerillas. Privateers could not stand up regular warships because they were usually converted merchant ships. Privateers had a slightly different standing under international law than did pirates. Privateers operated under state sanction, pirates did not. Privateers had to work through the admiralty courts of the country that sanctioned them and had to follow the rules of the court, pirates did not. The image is a direct reference to the issuance of "Letters of Marque and Reprisal" by the Confederate government in 1861. It specifically ignores the privateer/pirate distiction for dramatic effect."
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United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865; United States -- Politics and government -- 1861-1865; Covers (Philately) -- United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865; Envelopes (Stationary); Cachets (Philately); Patriotism -- United States; Davis, Jefferson, 1808-1889; Straw hat; United States Civil War; US Civil War; Patriotic envelopes; Privateers; Pirate; Sword;
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